Daily Mail website ‘editing users’ comments’

Yesterday, former BBC Man Martin Belam wrote about the Daily Mail’s distortion of an NSPCC report.  Having then commented on the story on their website, he got quite a shock:

This is what they published:

If you actually read the report ChildLine issued, it does not say that suicidal five year olds called ChildLine. It says that there were 42 phone calls by children between the ages of 5 AND 11. The other 96% of suicidal calls were by children 12 and over – which whilst it is still very sad.
- Martin Belam, Salzburg, Austria

Sadly, I appear to trail off mid-sentence. What I actually submitted was:

The other 96% of suicidal calls were by children 12 and over – which whilst it is still very sad is nowhere near the picture of suicidal 5 year olds portrayed in this article.

For some reason, the last part of my sentence, criticising the Daily Mail’s reporting, didn’t make it through the pre-moderation of comments on the site.

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2 Comments

  • To be honest, I’m surprised they printed the first bit.

    Comments on the Daily Mail website have to toe the Mail’s line and anything that doesn’t will usually fail to appear, for some mysterious reason.

    The ironic thing is that this would be very close to the way in which a website would be run in Stalin’s Russia.

  • This isn’t an uncommon occurrence. You have to carefully craft your posting to the Daily Mail (running the near-certain risk that they will not appear) and on at least 3 occasions I have had my comments ‘edited’ in a similar manner, giving my posting an entirely different meaning. For example, my posting to a ‘mad Mel’ Phillips column, in which she berated the security forces for not arresting terrorists before they committed terrorist acts was published as

    “I, like Melanie, cannot believe that the security services couldn’t have arrested these criminals beforehand.

    - Andrew, Olney, UK”

    What my actual (rather sarcastic) comment was

    “I, like Melanie, cannot believe that the security services couldn’t have arrested these criminals beforehand. I mean, it’s not like they blend in with society. They don’t work in schools and hospitals. You would think that men walking about with eye-patches, ‘I love Osama Bin Laden’ t-shirts and ‘I am a bomber’ tattooed on their foreheads would cause suspicion at least.

    Andrew, Olney, UK”

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